How To Choose A Camera: A Quick Buying Guide

by in Tech

There are several aspects, such as product specifications, that you must consider when buying a camera for your photography. With the market being flooded with many camera options, it might be challenging to decide on the best choice.

You can visit a used and new camera shop to check available options and talk to the salesperson about the best choice. Nonetheless, your decision on which camera to buy depends on your needs.

For instance, if you’re a professional photographer, your choice would be different from if you want a camera for taking vacation pictures. With that said, here’s a quick buying guide for a camera:

  • Understand Camera Types

As mentioned before, many camera types are in the market based on models and functions. You must understand the different types and what they’re best for to ensure you get the most suitable one for your needs.   

Camera types include the following:

  • Compact (Point-and-shoot) cameras: If you’re going on vacation and planning to take some pictures for memories, then this might be the best option for you. This type of camera is also excellent if you’re packing light because it’s small and portable. You can fit it into your pocket! This camera’s advantage over your phone is its spectacular optical zoom. Another benefit is its ease of use because of fixed lenses.
  • Bridge cameras: These cameras are slightly bigger than compact cameras but smaller than digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras. The cameras usually have a high-magnification zoom lens which offers better zoom and telephoto capabilities than the compact camera. In addition, the camera has manual controls. Bridge cameras are often one-piece units with small image sensors that are easy to clean.
  • Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR): This type of camera is popular with amateur and professional photographers because they use a single lens to frame, focus, and take photos. You can use this camera for low-light shoots and get excellent background effects. Since they come in two parts, including the body and lens, you can upgrade the lens if necessary.
  • Action cameras: They’re great for shooting videos because that’s their primary focus. A significant advantage of this camera is its small size for portability. The camera is also waterproof, making it excellent for outdoor activities.
  • Mirrorless cameras: These are light and portable cameras that can be used for video shooting. That’s because they have better image stabilization because of the absence of mirrors. When purchasing, you can opt for fixed or interchangeable lenses.

You can consult the salesperson about your needs to get the best camera.

  • Consider Image Quality

It might be the most important aspect when buying a camera. You can determine the quality of pictures by checking the lens specifications. The lens’ resolution tells the level of detail a specific camera can provide. Typically, the higher the resolution, the better the image quality. Resolution is measured in pixels, and you’d want a camera with at least 20 Megapixels if you aim at 16 x 20 in printouts or displays. You can also take sample pictures to see the quality you’ll get.

  • Check Ergonomics

Choosing a camera that fits well in your hands is best. If you’re at the camera shop, you can hold the camera and evaluate how comfortable you feel. However, if you’re buying one online, you can check the reviews and dimensions details. You’ll be making an informed decision based on your experience or the information you get online.

  • Consider Types Of Lenses  

As discussed above, you can either buy a camera that has fixed or interchangeable lenses. Your needs can influence your decision. For example, if you’re a professional who takes different types of pictures, getting a camera with interchangeable lenses might be best to cater to different photography needs.

However, if you’re a beginner or need a camera for vacation pictures, you can opt for a camera with fixed lenses. That’s because they’re easy to use, and you can get one with an interchangeable lens once you’re confident in your skills.

Moreover, buying a camera with interchangeable lenses opens you up to many options. For example, you can find prime lenses that have one focal length, whereas lower numbers offer a wide picture angle. This type of setting is often excellent for landscape pictures.  

  • Find The Latest Models Within Your Budget  

Camera technology advances quickly, and it’d be best to consider buying the latest model of the camera type you choose. That’s because the newer models are improved and have better specifications than their predecessors.

However, before buying the newest camera model, you should ensure it’s within your budget. Several cameras cost under USD$1,000. If the price is higher, you can check the previous model. You can also compare the camera specifications and inquire about the latest model’s improvements.  

  • Consider The Sensor Size

If you’re getting a digital camera, you’ll have to consider the sensor size because sensors are used to record images. Ideally, the larger the sensors, the better the image quality, especially in low-light situations. You can also consider the width of the sensors for the ability to blur backgrounds.  

Some of the sensors you might come across include the following:   

  • One-inch or smaller sensors: These types are often found in budget compact cameras.  
  • APS-C sensors: You can find these sensors in DSLR, mirrorless, and advanced compact cameras.  
  • Full-frame sensors: These types are also common in DSLR, mirrorless, and advanced compact cameras.  

Therefore, if you’re a professional photographer, get a camera with either APS-C or full-frame sensors. For instance, you can get a mirrorless full-frame camera with high speed.  


It can be challenging to decide on the best camera to buy, especially if you’re an amateur photographer or just looking for something that takes better pictures than your camera. You can research the most suitable camera for your needs or check online reviews for different cameras. Nonetheless, you should pick a camera that makes you happy!

Man photographer tests digital SLR camera in shopHappy family buying photo camera in tech store.